Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has controlled the orbit of the First Quasi-Zenith Satellite "MICHIBIKI" to insert it into the quasi-zenith orbit from the drift orbit starting on September 21 (Japan Standard Time, JST), and the final orbit control operation was performed for about 50 seconds from 6:28 a.m. on September 27 (JST.) After the operation, we have confirmed that the satellite was successfully injected into its preordained quasi-zenith orbit with its center longitude of about 135 degrees through the orbit calculation. The calculation results are as follows.
The MICHIBIKI was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center at 8:17 p.m. on September 11, 2010 (JST.)
|Orbit inclination||41.0 degrees|
|Period||23 hours 56 minutes|
|Drift rate||0.03 degrees/day (to the east direction)|
|- Drift orbit||:||The last step orbit prior to the quasi-zenith orbit. The orbit altitude and inclination (angle against the equator) are equal to those of the quasi-zenith orbit, but the longitude of the center of the figure-8 orbit is not above Japan. After being injected into the drift orbit, it will take a few days to maneuver the satellite to have its figure-8 center above Japan, thus it will ultimately fly in the quasi-zenith orbit.|
|- Quasi-zenith orbit||:||While the quasi-zenith orbit has the same orbit period of 23 hours and 56 minutes as the geostationary orbit, it can let a satellite stay over Japan longer by taking an elliptical orbit with higher altitude above Japan and flying in a figure-8 orbit.|